YOU GUYS—I am so excited to FINALLY tell you my big news!
It all started when I was diagnosed with Stage IV Breast Cancer in September of 2015 and I was swiftly ushered into a new club. The Cancer Club. It is a terrible club to be in. People who are in the club are constantly under a microscope. Literally, every single time a biopsy is performed. Then lucky club members are infused with toxic chemicals and/or exposed to radiation waves and/or parts of their body are removed. The side effects of the medicine makes them sick and zaps their energy. Every aspect of their lives changes. Co-pays, adjunct treatments, and additional comforts needed for the treatment of cancer add up quickly and you find yourself financially stretched in ways you never expected.
The emotional and financial impact of cancer is tremendous!
I remember right before I lost my hair, I went hat shopping at Spellbound, a boutique in downtown Burlington. The store clerk recognized me, remarked that we had mutual friends and said that she followed my blog. I told her that I was buying hats because I was starting to lose my hair. Maybe the store was having a ridiculous sale on hats or maybe this amazing human recognized that sometimes a girl just needs a break, but every hat I presented at that cash register, the clerk announced was 50% off. I bought 3 hats. I left Spellbound feeling supported and taken care of and the store clerk was able to help me and promote the store. I have told this story approximately one million times. Word travels fast!
This is when The Maggie Card first occurred to me. While I was incredibly grateful that this kind salesperson offered me this substantial discount, I never would have bought those hats if I didn’t have stupid cancer. For that, I think I kind of deserve a discount! I want to look good, I want to feel good, and having easy and affordable access to things that will help me keep my spirits up seems important.
And I am not being selfish or materialistic. Doubt me? You try going outside in the summer sun with no hat. And while cancer has taken some things away from me, like my hair, it hasn’t taken away my desire to look my best. Furthermore, according to www.cancer.gov 39.6% of the US population will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. It’s safe to say we are all impacted by cancer, in some way or other. Don’t we all want to feel like we look our best when undergoing treatment? Don’t we all want to support cancer patients and survivors, and give them a small discount that allows them a bit of pampering?
I don’t just want a discount for me. I think EVERYONE who has a cancer diagnosis should have these benefits and that’s why I have developed The Maggie Card.
That’s right, Maggie’s Brightside is creating a Maggie Card. Anyone in Vermont who gets diagnosed with cancer can apply for this card. It’s an actual, physical Maggie Card. Once an individual applies, they are given the card for free. Applicants must reapply yearly. Once an applicant has the card, they can use it for discounts at local stores. For instance, HammerFit is offering one free month of a gym membership and $22.95 per month thereafter or 1 free group fitness class and member rates from there on. Blissful Healing Massage Practice is offering 10% off all massage treatments. Pure Barre in Burlington is offering 10% off all memberships (excluding the new client membership). Maybe you get 20% off organic vegetables at the local grocery store, maybe you get 30% off your pre-chemo haircut, maybe a discount on scarves and hats… All of the Maggie Card benefits would improve your health, wellbeing, and happiness while you struggle through cancer. Ecco, Crimson Poppy and of course, Spellbound are all crossing over to Maggie’s Brightside. You guys-This is going to be HUGE!
Local businesses will have the opportunity to be a partner to The Brightside Maggie Card. They will have the opportunity to improve the lives of people who have been knocked down by a cancer diagnosis. By participating in the program, businesses will be able to lift applicant’s spirits, make them feel good about themselves, and even improve their overall health! There are different sponsorship levels available to businesses, so your business can decide what sort of investment they want to make in Maggie’s Brightside Maggie Card. Along with using your company’s advertising budget on print and electronic ads, you can offer a service or discount to someone in your community?
The cost of cancer is tremendous.
Many people have health insurance, but not everyone is that lucky. Even when doctor’s appointments and some medications are covered, the basic cost of living often increases. The cost of food increases as people turn to healthier options. Medication, vitamins, and supplements cost money. Patients being treated for different cancers have to spend even MORE money to buy additional supplies to manage the side effects from treatment. Then you have to attend extra doctor’s appointments, go to yoga, keep up with exercise classes. Your skin changes, your hair changes, your body changes, and with those changes you need different skin care, hair cuts and supplies and clothing options. These are all things that AREN’T covered by insurance. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a little help with that? Meanwhile, you have had to decrease your hours at work or take unpaid time off. It all adds up and at the same time that your doctors are recommending that you decrease your stress, the bills keep coming. Maggie’s Brightside Maggie Card can help alleviate some of that stress. It can help people afford cancer with the support of local business. It also allows local businesses to support their own friends and client base.
Doesn’t this sound amazing? Now, the Maggie Card won’t be available until October of 2017, but you can pre-register for the card now. Meanwhile, I’ll be working on gathering as many businesses as possible to help support my card. My vision is big. I’m starting in Chittenden County and neighboring counties (Franklin, Washington and Addison), but eventually I’d like the card to be offered statewide. Then I’ll be invited on the Ellen Degeneres Show and then other states will obviously want to consult with me so that they can start the Maggie Card in their own state! It’s going to be huge. Don’t you want to be able to say you were there from the beginning? Become a sponsor! Spread the word! Announcements about special events and more details about the card to come! Meanwhile, peruse my new website created by Maggie’s Brightside partner, Breezy Hill Marketing.